Optimism. Credit: iStock

New York State residents, including Long Islanders, say they are relatively optimistic that business conditions will improve over the next 10 years, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The Siena College Research Institute found half the people it surveyed statewide said “progress” would be made in the next decade “enhancing the ability of businesses in New York to prosper.”

Twenty-six percent said conditions would remain the same while 21 percent said conditions would go “backward.”  In Nassau, Suffolk and the other counties near New York City, 46 percent predicted improving conditions for businesses, 30 percent said they would remain the same and 20 percent, worsen.

The poll of 800 residents, conducted Feb. 14 to 17 and Feb. 21 to 22, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Business conditions were among 13 topics that residents were asked about to assess attitudes about quality of life.

Overall, poll respondents were pessimistic about the immediate future with only 30 percent expecting a better quality of life in 10 years for the people they know. Thirty-two percent said it would be unchanged while 35 percent forecast a worsening of living conditions.

The outlook was bleaker on Long Island and in the other suburbs. Thirty percent predicted a better quality of life by 2021 while 28 percent said it would remain the same and 38 percent, get worse.

Respondents statewide and in the suburbs were most doubtful about seeing improvements in taxes, affordable health care and help for the poor. Even the optimism expressed about business conditions was modest compared to past decades, said pollster Don Levy.

“This is tepid at best compared with how people felt about growth and innovation happening back in the 1950s and 1960s,” he said. “I’m concerned that only 10 percent said there would be substantial progress toward making business conditions better in the next 10 years.”

Levy also noted that only 41 percent of residents said life had gotten worse since 2001 for people they know. Thirty-nine percent said there had been no change and 19 percent said there was improvement.


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